Selina went back to work after three weeks but to be honest I was totally fine. I wanted to stay at home with Kai, I was looking forward to it. And it was the worst winter in Boston for years - record snow - so I was happy to stay at home and keep him warm - I felt very protective.
When the weather changed I started jumping on Skype and Facebook to catch up with people. I started really wanting some adult conversation. My vocabulary had dwindled, I couldn’t even read any more - I used to read a couple of books a week and now I was struggling with anything longer than five pages!
Baby brain is very, very real - and it’s scary. I really loved staying at home with Kai, but I realised how easy it is to get stuck in the house. And that’s not healthy. You need to connect with other people, with other parents, and you need help. It’s pretty hard to admit that, but you can’t do it all alone, and you can’t rely on Google for advice - that just makes you crazy.
That’s why I joined a local moms’ group. I don’t have family nearby so they became my support network, my village. We’d meet every week, and everyone would share an ‘up’ and a ‘down’. It didn’t matter what they were, and sometimes one person’s up was someone else’s down. But that was fine. We listened to each other, and didn’t judge. That was really important - there’s too much bullying and judging in places like social media and that’s not helpful. Just because something’s not right for you doesn’t mean it’s not right. And that’s how the group was. It also made me get out of the house, forced me out of my yoga pants! But even if I didn’t get out of my yoga pants that was cool too. No judging.
My midwife had an amazing open house every month too. There were loads of moms there and you would look out for each other’s babies, and just chat about how things were going. As a new mom you often doubt yourself or overthink stuff. You just need someone to be calm and remind you to trust your own instincts. I know it sounds a bit cliched to say “you’ll just know” what your baby needs, but it is actually true. Joining parent support groups just gives you the confidence to believe it.